toronto future skyline

This is what Toronto's skyline could look like in the not-too-distant future

The years-long transformation of Toronto's skyline has rendered this town practically unrecognizable from just a decade earlier, and the surge of new development promises to continue adding landmarks to the cityscape in the years to come.

Unless you're meticulously tracking every development proposal working its way through the city's planning and approvals process, it's hard to grasp the true scale of change the city is about to witness, but one local has done the heavy lifting in that department, creating his own future mock-up of what the skyline may look like in the coming years.

Stephen Velasco, a digital marketer with a passion for urban issues and development, has been mapping out the city's future since his high school days. He first broke onto the scene in the late 2000s with a cardboard model of Toronto, featured on blogTO in 2011, but later evolved to digital model making.

Velasco's Future Model of Toronto was featured on blogTO just over a year ago, highlighting the various clusters of development reshaping the urban fabric.

He has since continued his work to reflect the ever-changing proposal pipeline, and his latest visualization puts viewers at the popular Toronto Island vantage point for a view of how the city skyline may look in the not-too-distant future.

The visualization includes three versions of the skyline; one showing the city as it exists today, another showing projects already under construction, and a third showing both under construction and proposed developments.

Velasco tells blogTO that "this latest image recreates Toronto's iconic postcard view of the downtown skyline from Lake Ontario with future development."

He explains how "the most notable changes to the skyline take place east of Yonge Street, with the large-scale redevelopment of the eastern waterfront."

"Featured prominently right-of-centre is SkyTower — shown with its proposed height increase to 345 metres / 105 storeys," says Velasco. "The supertall skyscraper, currently under construction, will create a dramatic secondary focal point to the skyline next to the CN Tower."

To create his models, Velasco gathers information from the City of Toronto's development portal about individual developments, using their detailed architectural plans to forge 3D visualizations with a program called SketchUp.

The project began back in 2017, but, like many of us, Velasco found himself with a bit more spare time in 2020, allowing him to put in more work and develop a following by publishing his visuals on Twitter.

A constant flow of development applications for bigger and bolder projects means this future visualization will only continue to evolve in step with the city's ambitions.

Lead photo by

Stephen Velasco

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